Key benchmark indices were trading firm in mid-morning trade. At 11:19 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, was up 191.84 points or 0.54% at 35,849.70. The Nifty 50 index was up 52.70 points or 0.49% at 10,825.35. Metal and mining stocks gained as copper prices rose in global commodity markets. Upbeat Asian stocks boosted sentiment on the domestic bourses.
Trading for the week began on a firm note as key benchmark indices saw gap-up opening on positive Asian stocks. Stocks trimmed gains in morning trade after an initial upmove.
The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, was strong. On the BSE, 1503 shares rose and 700 shares fell. A total of 95 shares were unchanged.
Metal and mining stocks gained as copper prices rose in global commodity markets. Jindal Steel & Power (up 3.04%), Vedanta (up 1.87%), JSW Steel (up 0.97%), Steel Authority of India (Sail) (up 1.37%), National Aluminium Company (up 1.97%), Hindustan Zinc (up 1.54%), Hindalco Industries (up 1.38%) and Hindustan Copper (up 0.91%) edged higher.
Copper edged higher in the global commodities market. High Grade Copper for September 2018 delivery was currently up 1.66% at $2.8710 per pound on the COMEX.
Tata Steel gained 1.22% after the company posted an 8% growth in Q1 June 2018 sales led by its highest ever quarterly sales of automotive steels in India. Sales touched 2.97 million tonnes (mt) in Q1 June 2018 against 2.75 mt in same period last year. The announcement was made after market hours on Friday, 6 July 2018.
Automotive and Special steels sales jumped to 557 KT in Q1 June 2018 due to stronger demand and new product approvals. The company said branded products and retail business achieved highest ever Q1 sales of 975 KT, registering a growth of 12% compared to 873 KT in Q1 June 2017. Additionally, overall engineering segments registered 70% growth year on year with 97 KT sales in Q1 June 2018 against sales of 57 KT sales in Q1 June 2017.
In Europe, Tata Steel sales grew marginally to 2.43 mt in Q1 June 2018 against 2.40 mt in Q1 June 2017 while production went up to 2.81 mt in Q1 June 2018 against 2.79 mt in the previous corresponding period on improved plant availability, Tata Steel said in a statement.
NMDC rose 1.02%. NMDC said that on a provisional basis its total iron ore production up to 30 June 2018 was at 6.87 million tonnes (mt). Total iron sales up to June was at 6.84 mt. The announcement was made on Saturday, 7 July 2018.
Sterlite Technologies rose 4.26%. Sterlite Technologies announced the signing of definitive agreements for acquisition of a European specialized optical cable manufacturer based in Italy. Sterlite Technologies, through its wholly owned Italian subsidiary Sterlite Technologies S.p.A, will acquire 100% stake in Metallurgica Bresciana S.p.A (Metallurgica). The acquisition is an all cash deal for approximately Euro 47 million, which is being funded through a combination of Euro debt instruments and internal accruals. The announcement was made after market hours on Friday, 6 July 2018.
Metallurgica designs and manufactures special precision optical fiber cables and specialized copper cables for various communication applications. The target firm is a privately held company focused on bringing specialised cabling solutions for various network applications across industry segments.
Overseas, Asian stocks gained as investors set aside concerns about escalating trade tensions to prepare for the latest earnings season after signs of continued economic strength. US stocks closed solidly higher on Friday, 6 July 2018 after a read on the labor market came in stronger than expected, supporting the thesis that economic fundamentals remain healthy despite trade-war anxieties.
On the economic data front, the US created 213,000 new jobs in June, while the readings for May and April were also revised higher. Separately, the unemployment rate rose to 4% from 3.8%. Meanwhile, the nation's trade deficit shrank 6.6% in May to a 19-month low.
On the political front, the Trump administration officially imposed tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese imports at midnight Eastern Time, and Beijing implemented tariffs on the same value in US goods, as promised.
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